While chatting with an Instagram friend, currently located in Bangalore but basically from Kashmir, about my Ladakh trip, he happened to share his memories of Kashmir.
“Every day I used to go to Dal lake to experience that magical and tantalizing view of the water and the house boats. I would never get bored there. There was peace in and around me. Also, the night view of the lake is worth an experience.”
“In summer almost every one – family and friends – used to go Pahalgham, which is around 90 kms from the main city of Srinagar. We used to go there for campaigning near the river. It was so much fun. Kashmir has its own charm” he added.
While chatting, I was looking at few pictures of the Dal lake on my laptop and got completely engrossed in my world of imagination, such that my frined called me to check if I was awake 😛
Kashmir, as we all know is Jannat.
While I was wandering at the streets of the main market at Leh clicking few pictures, Megha, my travel buddy, called me into a shop. She showed me a prayer wheel which she wished to buy, when the shop owner started conversing with us. He asked us about our trip, the journey, places we visited and then when he asked about the route we took to reach Ladakh. He appeared to be a little unhappy by our response. We had taken Delhi-Manali-Leh route. The shop owner was an Afghani (his native place was Afghanistan) but was born and bought up in Kashmir.
He thought Megha and I came on this trip alone (to be precise – without any male friend). Assuming this, he continued, “Why didn’t you opt for the route from Kashmir. It is more beautiful. If you feel it is unsafe, then you are completely mistaken.” And then he went on. From blaming the media for making Kashmir seem unsafe to people, to politics and to Islam. But there was a subtle message in his talk, a message of humanity.
Here is a short video of him and the message he wished to convey: